Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry: Explained, ON WHAT PLANET, by KENNETH REXROTH



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

ON WHAT PLANET, by         Recitation by Author     Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

"On What Planet" is a poem by Kenneth Rexroth, an American poet known for his works that explore themes of nature, spirituality, and the human experience. Rexroth was born in 1905 in Indiana and has written numerous books of poetry, including "On What Planet," which was first published in 1964.

Explanation:

"On What Planet" is a contemplative and philosophical poem that explores the mysteries of the universe and the human experience. The poem describes the speaker's reflections on the vastness and complexity of the universe, including the stars and galaxies that stretch out beyond our comprehension. The poem also touches on the idea that human beings are a small part of a larger cosmic order, and that our lives are brief and fleeting in the grand scheme of things.

Poetic Elements:

  • Form: Free verse with no consistent rhyme or meter
  • Imagery: Vivid descriptions of the stars and galaxies that stretch out beyond our comprehension
  • Tone: Reflective and meditative tone that explores the mysteries of the universe and the human experience
  • Allusion: Allusion to the idea of the "eternal recurrence," or the idea that time is cyclical and that events repeat themselves endlessly.

Conclusion:

"On What Planet" is a powerful and reflective poem that challenges us to contemplate the mysteries of the universe and the fleeting nature of human existence. Through the use of vivid imagery, tone, and allusion, the poem portrays the universe as a vast and complex system that is beyond our comprehension, and reminds us that our lives are brief and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. The poem invites us to embrace the mystery and beauty of the universe with humility and wonder.

Poem Snippet:

 

I am as distant from myself

As you are, as distant as a star,

Even the molecules and atoms

That compose my flesh and bones

 


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